Digital Marketing For Accommodation
The Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region is a popular weekend destination, with visitors attracted to the natural healing mineral waters, day spas, restaurants and shops. As one of Victoria’s most popular tourist destinations, the accommodation industry is highly competitive and digital marketing is the only way to survive and compete. Hepburn Spa Pavilion’s priority was a new website. They had recently slipped in their Google search results and wanted to make improvements. One reason their Google search results had suffered was because their website was not designed to automatically resize for those searching on smaller devices, like mobile phones. In 2015 Google had begun penalising those websites that did not resize for mobiles (i.e. were not mobile responsive).
The project brief required that the new website was easy for the owners to update and manage. The website required the addition of a second property – a country house – and the owners saw the new website as an opportunity to review and update their branding. New messaging was to be developed for the site, through copy, styling, and photos. The design brief included that the site was to be visually pleasing, with lots of photos of the accommodation. It should communicate a feeling of high-end luxury.
We created a mobile responsive WordPress website. WordPress was chosen because it allows for the easy management and update of content. With it’s visual elements, versatile layouts and add-on features, WordPress is ideal for small business and for branding. As with most accommodation sites, images are important, but image laden sites can compromise site speed and therefore google search results if they are not done with care. We maintained the highly visual element of the site by using WordPress elements with large, visually appealing image sliders. Google Analytics was installed on the site to enable traffic to the site to be monitored. Additional event tracking software was also added to record additional activities on each of the pages.
Branding and Website Copywriting
An important aspect of the design and branding exercise involved the copywriting. In response to conversations with the owners about the types of branding styles they liked, we developed the tag line, “Dive Into The Moment”. This tag also evoked the healing waters of Hepburn Spring’s mineral spas.
The copy on the site was developed from the spirit of the tag line. Each location described the experience of discovery a visitor might have as they explored their holiday accommodation for the first time. Each property page conveyed a distinct character through the photos and the careful construction of a mood. Elements of each location, including colours and shapes, art, architecture and the natural environment, were included in the copy to create a sensual, relaxing mood for the Hepburn Spa Pavilions site.
All the important booking information and a full description of the facilities were included on each of the pages, and we made it easy for visitors to make an inquiry with a clearly visible inquiry form.
The website was fully optimised by using keywords on each of the pages and in the backend of the site. Additional pages – one for blogs and another to help visitors with suggestions of things to do in Hepburn Springs – were added. These provided a platform to gradually increase content on the site and continue to build SEO results for the business into the future.
Results – extra 1,800 potential customers in 8 weeks
Following the site going live Hepburn Spa Pavilions experienced a significant improvement in their search rankings for a number of targeted keywords. For a number of keywords, the business moved to page one of Google search results. This occurred for some keywords within two weeks. The development of an ongoing digital marketing strategy for the business will involve the continued development of blog content and other campaigns to drive traffic and ultimately increase bookings. Search rankings and booking numbers will continue to be monitored.